My daughter came up with a great idea IMO for a new nursery room (baby) product. While only 18, on her own she has contacted and made an appointment with that Inventions Submission Corp. that does the TV ads. My question is,
is this the right way to go. Should she possibly contact a patent attorney first.
I was hoping somebody on the board could give us a rational path.
Be careful with the Patent Attorney and make sure you do a little digging first. Try to obtain one who has experience in the field your daughter's ideas are in. And just because you get a patent or start that process, someone still needs to sell the concept to a viable co. She can due her own diligence by seeking out several companies who have products similar to hers or in the same field of broad endeavor. It really helps to have a preliminary Business Plan or a view of how this fits within a market and who is the target audience, some approximation of sales, etc. Generally, larger organizations have an established New Product Idea/Review process. Typically, you will be asked to sign a disclosure agreement and then provide, descriptions, drawings, models, etc to the company for evaluation. These agreements, if properly prepared protects you and the company from them ripping off your idea without paying you in some form and negotiating a proper agreement, and to prevent you from shopping this around while they are evaluating the concept,i.e., playing off one co vs the other.
In each company its somewhat different, but will usually go through a screening process of a marketing person and or maybe an engineer to determine market acceptance/sales revelance and how difficult it would be to make and for what cost. This will either validate or invalidate your assumptions. You might need to be prepared to defend your numbers, so don't fudge it!
If it survives here then goes to a committee and passes the next screen. At this point a contract is usually prepared to transfer intellectual property rights to the company in return for a lump sum or royalty on sales. Here I would suggesst getting appropiate counsel to fully protect your rights.
You need to deal with highly reputable companies that you can get feedback on their new product development process and how they work with inventors. Same with any patent attorney...btw, this is not a cheap process. You and your daughter should do some of your own diligence regarding identifying the market, target customer/consumer, est approx value of the concept in the market(provides you with talking points to company, attorneys, etc), maybe even get some potential customers to evaluate the concept first and provide testimonials and why they would buy it. As said befoe, put this into a summarized Business or Marketing Plan.
Have not had any experience with the co you mention and would be very careful. The world is strewn with great ideas that were acquired under false pretenses. Some have sued and won millions, others have lost it all.
Hope this helps,
BTW, it definitely was tops down weather this weekend. Even thought of Web as I saw a few halter tops along the way displacing the first real Tah Tahs of the season up North!
Can't thankeveryone enough for their words of wisdom- except Beanie of course.
Great info and will proceed with caution.
Boy !! ask and you shall receive. Hope I can someday provide some insight to the folks who have responded. Heck, if things work out, maybe every bud gets a free sample once she is
rich beyond her wildest dreams.
Please go to "clarkhoward.com" for lots of useful information on patents, and the pitfalls of doing what your daughter is about to do. If you will take a quick look today, you'll see a summary of several websites. Tell your daughter not to give anyone a penney, other than a patent attorney. I can tell you that normally an inventor needs a working model. Good luck